Reconciliation calendar

Listed below are key dates of recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all Australians, along with reconciliation events held in Moonee Valley.

Dates of recognition in Australia

Date Event

13 January 

Anniversary of the Apology (2008)
The anniversary of the apology in Federal Parliament to the Stolen Generations of Australia. See Reconciliation Victoria.
26 January Australia Day
For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, this day brings great sadness, pain and suffering. For some people, this day is also known as Survival Day. It is a day to recognise the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people against great adversity including historical and ongoing injustices as a result of colonisation.
Attend the Share the Spirit Festival at Treasury Gardens or our Bunjils Marroun Healing Ceremony at the Babepal Paen-mirring ceremonial rock circle in Essendon.
15 March
National Close the Gap Day
‘Close the Gap’ is Australia’s largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health campaign – a national human-rights based and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led campaign, which aims to achieve health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians by 2030. Visit Oxfam for more information about the campaign.
21 March

Harmony Day
A day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home - from the oldest continuous culture of our first Australians to our newest arrivals from around the world. The Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

See the Australian Government’s Harmony Day website.

26 May National Sorry Day
A day to recognise and commemorate the Stolen Generations, survivors of past government policies that allowed for the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander children from their families. Find out more.
End of May

The Long Walk
Commemorating the walk Michael Long and supporters undertook to Canberra to place the lives of Aboriginal people back on the national agenda. Coincides with Dreamtime at the ’G.

Visit The Long Walk website.

27 May-3 June

Reconciliation Week
A time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.

See Reconciliation Victoria’s website.

8-15 July

This week is a chance to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture across Australia.  

The 2019 theme is “Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let's work together for a shared future" acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia’s democracy. It represents the three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. These reforms represent the unified position of First Nations Australians.

See the NAIDOC website.

4 August

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day
A day to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their strengths and their connections to culture.

See SNAICC’s website.

6-12 August

Wurundjeri Week
An acknowledgement and celebration of the Wurundjeri People, the Traditional Custodians of the greater Melbourne region, including Moonee Valley.

Visit Wurundjeri Tribe’s website.

2 September

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation first established (1991)

The Council was established by the Australian Parliament to establish a formal reconciliation process, which had not previously existed. The Council is responsible for setting up not-for-profit foundation Reconciliation Australia to promote a continuing national focus on reconciliation.

See Reconciliation Australia’s website.

12 October

Anniversary of First Sea of Hands in Canberra (1997) 

The Sea of Hands is a major reconciliation community campaign that was first held outside Parliament House. It is organised by grassroots organisation ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation). It was created as a powerful, physical representation of a petition created to mobilise non-Indigenous support for native title and reconciliation.

See ANTaR’s website.

30 October

1975 Racial Discrimination Act first took effect

The Racial Discrimination Act is federal legislation that was passed in 1975 during the Whitlam Government era. It makes it against the law to treat anyone unfairly because of their race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status. It also makes racial hatred against the law.

Read more about the Act.

2019 Reconciliation events in Moonee Valley

Moonee Valley City Council and our partners are holding a number of events throughout 2019. Join us to celebrate, learn and show respect to the First Peoples of Moonee Valley and Australia.

See our Reconciliation page for further information.

Date Event
26 January

Bunjils Marroun Healing Ceremony

The Bunjils Marroun (meaning ‘Bunjil’s cry’) healing ceremony is a chance for people to learn about and experience what the day means to our Traditional Custodians. The event will include an acknowledgement of history by a Wurundjeri Elder.

When: Saturday, 26 January, 5pm-6pm
Where: Babepal Paen-mirring ceremonial rock circle, Five Mile Creek Reserve, Essendon

29 January

Uncle Jim Berg – Indigenous culture talk

Enrich your knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture with Gunditjmara Elder Uncle Jim Berg. Uncle Jim is a poet, storyteller, and long-time advocate of Indigenous rights and culture, and also helped establish the Koori Heritage Trust. Free, bookings necessary.

When: Tuesday, 29 January, 6.30pm-7.30pm
Where: Flemington Library

Book via Eventbrite or call 8325 1975.

15 February - 1 March

Because of Her, We Can! exhibition

This exhibition features a collection of 24 portraits of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who live and work in Melbourne’s west. The portraits are part of a joint project between the Western Regional Local Government Reconciliation Network, Western Health and local communities during NAIDOC Week 2018 to recognise the contribution these women make to life in the west.

The exhibition specifically acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have fought and continue to fight for justice, equal rights, access to education, employment and rights to country, whilst maintaining and celebrating Indigenous culture, language, music and arts.

When: Friday, 15 February, 12pm–4pm
Friday, 22 February, 12pm–4pm
Friday, 1 March, 1pm–4pm
Where: Council Chambers, Moonee Valley Civic Centre, 9 Kellaway Avenue, Moonee Ponds

 8 July

NAIDOC Week flag raising ceremony

Council is holding a flag raising event at the Incinerator Gallery, including a Welcome to Country by a Wurundjeri Elder who will also perform a Smoking Ceremony; cultural activities, storytelling, bush bouquets and sampling of delicious cakes made from bush tucker by Yarn Strong Sista; and performances by the Djirri Djirri dance group which will also feature yidarki (didgeridoo). NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year we acknowledge the achievements which have been made towards Treaty and our shared futures. 

When: Monday, 8 July from 12.30pm
Where: Incinerator Gallery, 180 Holmes Rd, Aberfeldie

2018 Reconciliation events in Moonee Valley

Date  Event
25 March

Walk with Wurundjeri

Learn all about Wurundjeri culture, take part in a smoking ceremony and make traditional digging sticks. Finish up with a bush tucker meat barbecue then come back in October to harvest the Murnong with your digging sticks!

When: Sunday, 25 March, 10am-2pm
Where: 5 Mile Creek Reserve, 2 Government Road, Essendon

Watch this video from the event:

22 April

Reintroducing Wurundjeri culture to the Maribyrnong

Friends of Steele Creek in partnership with Wurundjeri present a Welcome to Country, traditional games, yam harvesting, traditional weaving, a barbecue and much more.

When: Sunday, 22 April, 11am-3pm
Where: Lower Maribyrnong River, Lily Street, Essendon West
Contact Helen van den Berg on 0437 838 633 for further information. Supported by a Moonee Valley City Council grant.

2 June-29 July

standing still; looking back, looking forward, Incinerator Gallery exhibition 

standing still; looking back, looking forward celebrates First Nations identities today, yesterday and tomorrow. Featuring new works by Dean Cross, Brad Darkson, Amala Groom & Nicole Monks, Ashley Perry and Katie West. Curated by Jessica Clark.

Opening Night: Friday, 1 June, 6pm-8pm
Gallery open: Saturday, 2 June to Sunday, 29 July
Artist and curator talk: Saturday, 16 June
See Incinerator Gallery’s 2018 program.

21 June

Which Way Home, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

Infused with humour and heart, Which Way Home draws on writer Katie Beckett’s own memories of growing up with her single Aboriginal father.

When: Thursday, 21 June, 8pm
Where: Clocktower Centre, 755 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds
Find out more and book at the Clocktower Centre’s website.

2 July

Celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women of the West exhibition - opening event

When: Monday, 2 July, 9:30am to 12:30pm
Where: Bowery Theatre, St Albans Community Centre

Applications are open now to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women of all ages who live or work in the West for this special exhibition. Photographs can be taken by any equipment and will accompany a story outlining each woman's contributions and achievements in the community. Submit your photo and story or read more (pdf, 821KB).

7 July

Indigenous Match at Airport West Football Club

Join the club for its Indigenous match and luncheon. The event includes a sit-down lunch, speakers, and an opportunity to support the club.

To book tickets visit Airport West Football Club.

10 July

Film night: After the Apology

A landmark documentary exploring the continues practice of child removal and the community response. The number of Aboriginal children being removed today by welfare agencies is much higher than during the time of the Stolen Generations. Grandmothers against Removal are fighting back and bring the children home. 81 mins, Rated M.

When: Tuesday, 10 July, 6pm

Where: Flemington Library, 313 Racecourse Road, Flemington

11 July

Celebrate NAIDOC! Flag-raising and cultural event

Join our annual flag raising ceremony. This family-friendly event will include a Welcome to Country by a Wurundjeri Elder, morning tea and activities for the kids.

When: Wednesday, 11 July, 10.30am-12pm
Where: Avondale Heights Library and Learning, 69-79 Military Rd, Avondale Heights

Free event. RSVP online or call 8325 1940.

11 July

NAIDOC Week: Aboriginal basket weaving

Create your own basket using traditional Aboriginal weaving techniques, as demonstrated by Donna Blackhall, from the Yorta Yorta nation. All ages welcome. Free, bookings necessary.

When: Wednesday 11 July, 6pm-8pm

Where: Ascot Vale Library, 165 Union Road, Ascot Vale

18 July

Aboriginal Astronomy

This talk, delivered by the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre, will explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people developed a number of practical ways to observe the Sun, Moon and stars to inform navigation, calendars, predict weather, and inform law and social structure. It will feature videos of dances, songs, and interviews with Elders.

When: Wednesday, 18 July, 6.30pm-8pm
Where: Sam Merrifield Library, 762 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds

Free event. Book via Eventbrite or call the Sam Merrifield Library on 83251950.

7 October

Nhanbu Gurru Festival!(Ancient Flower Festival)

Celebrate Wurundjeri culture at the Babepal Paen-mirring ceremonial rock circle and help us harvest the Murnong (yam daisy). Join us for a smoking ceremony, talks with Wurundjeri elders, traditional dancing and music, a BBQ and children’s activities.

When: Sunday, 7 October 2018, 11am–2pm
Where: Five Mile Creek Reserve, Government Road, Essendon

RSVP: via Eventbrite

Last updated: Sunday, 5 May 2019, 11:25 PM